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Since 1996, Mercer has provided down-payment assistance to full-time faculty and staff to purchase homes in three neighborhoods surrounding the Macon campus. The down payment assistance came in the form of 5-year mortgages, forgivable over the first five years the resident lived in the home. In 2008, the program was expanded to the entire Intown Macon historic district, including the target neighborhoods of Beall’s Hill, Huguenin Heights, and Tatnall Place. Faculty and staff are eligible for a down-payment loan of up to 17 percent of the home’s purchase price, with a maximum of $20,000.

Since the program began, 33 faculty and staff have participated and the neighborhoods have been revitalized. Recently, the area has seen much progress, with the addition of two eateries scheduled to open in Mercer Village in mid-2008 and the creation of the College Hill Alliance, which will further develop the area between campus and downtown.